Learfield Acquires Social Media Agency Think Social
Learfield continues to add depth to its range of collegiate multimedia capabilities with the acquisition of Think Social, an agency specializing in building robust social media campaigns for sponsors.
“This is a terrific addition to the Learfield family,” said Learfield President and CEO Greg Brown. “Our company, as well as others who develop marketing campaigns for sponsors, have been utilizing Think Social to add significant value to collegiate sponsorship programs. More and more, social media components are strategic elements of the best sponsorship programs, and this new partnership brings the development of these vital concepts under our roof.”
The transaction, the terms of which are confidential, takes effect immediately. The company will continue to operate under the Think Social name and brand and all current employees will remain with the firm.Think Social Founder and President Jim Hanchett will report to Chief Revenue Officer Andy Rawlings.
“I’m very excited about this acquisition,” said Hanchett. “For the last four years, we have worked hard to build a great business and to provide innovative solutions for our clients and partners. Our employees have done terrific work, and I’m looking forward to continued growth and success with Learfield.”
Hanchett, a former student athlete at Oregon State University, founded Think Social in 2011. Learfield began utilizing Think Social’s expertise first at Oregon State, where it is the athletics multimedia rights holder. In 2013, Learfield and Think Social rolled out a more comprehensive partnership providing the digital marketing firm automatic entry to work with all of Learfield’s collegiate properties. The engagement grew, and in the past year alone, Think Social has developed and activated over 600 social media campaigns on behalf of Learfield’s collegiate sponsors nationwide.
“I am very pleased to learn of this transaction,” said Todd Stansbury, Vice President and Director of Athletics at Oregon State. “Not only does this make a lot of sense for our partners, Think Social and Learfield, it is personally gratifying to see one of our former student athletes and a business Oregon State athletics helped get off the ground become an industry leader. Jim Hanchett and Think Social are the template for SportUp, our Student Athlete business incubator program that we are developing as part of our Everyday Champions Program.”
“Digital and social media-driven campaigns create premium value for sponsors,” added Brown. “Bringing Think Social into to the Learfield family adds an area of expertise that is critical to serving our partners and delivering value to them at the highest level.”